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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Jan. 3, 2003


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Jan. 7, 2003.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Costly Plan to Deploy Anti-Missile System in Alaska Criticized
as Ineffective and Provoking New Arms Race

Interview with Stephen Young,
senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists,
conducted by Scott Harris

One year after announcing America's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty -- signed with the former Soviet Union in 1972 -- President Bush made public his administration's plan to deploy the system's first missiles in Alaska by 2004. While Russia and China have muted their criticism of the U.S. move, their military leaders have warned that the Bush decision to deploy a missile defense system will likely mean their nations will build more intercontinental missiles with countermeasures to reduce any American advantage.

Many political and military observers also express concern that Bush's decision to build an anti-missile system will provoke nuclear enemies India and Pakistan to further build up their atomic arsenals. Beyond the global instability this decision may produce, scientists maintain that the costly system being built will be ineffective at intercepting any attack by real or imagined enemies such as North Korea.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Stephen Young, senior analyst, with the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program, who takes a critical look at the viability of and likely fallout from deployment of a U.S. anti- missile system.

Contact the Union of Concerned Scientists' Global Security Program by calling (617) 547-5552 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

Critical Weeks Ahead for U.S. Peace Movement's Effort
to Derail Bush War Plan

Interview with Joanne Landy,
co-director of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,
conducted by Scott Harris

As if following their own script for justifying war, the Bush administration pronounced Iraq to be in material breach of United Nations resolutions just days after Baghdad released an obligatory 12,000-page arms declaration. While some of the White House criticism of Iraqi weapons documentation was echoed by Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, chief UN weapons inspectors -- most members of the Security Council affirmed that Washington's judgment had no standing without a vote of the full Council.

In a further sign of friction at the UN, many of the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council were angered by the Bush administration's behind-the-scenes maneuvering to delay distribution and censor large portions of the 12,000-page Iraqi arms declaration to non-nuclear states serving in that body. And with statements from the White House sounding ever more bellicose, calls for the U.S. to back up its allegations against Iraq with hard evidence are being heard more forcefully around world.

Public opinion polls here in the U.S. also reveal growing sentiment that President Bush has not made a convincing case that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction justifying a U.S. war. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Joanne Landy, co-director of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, who assesses the ability of the U.S. peace movement to slow down or stop the White House plan for war with Baghdad.

Contact the Campaign for Peace and Democracy by via email at or sign onto their national statement opposing the war online at

Related links:

  • "U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup: Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds" By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2002, Page A01 Editor's Note: Article describes how Donald Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, was a special presidential envoy whose December 1983 meeting with Saddam Hussein during 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war helped open the door to trade in weapons that is now deplored
  • Editor's Note: Also available on the above Web page until Jan. 13, 2003 -- Photo Gallery: "Was This the Garden of Eden?" Washington Post photographer Michael Robinson-Chavez, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2002 visits southeastern Iraq where a once paradisiacal landscape has given away to bleak poverty. Note that the photos contain the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which are referred to in the Bible (Genesis 2:10) in the Garden of Eden, and also widely known as Mesopotamia, Western civilization's "Cradle of Civilization."

White House Attack on Women's Reproductive Rights
Undermines International Accords

Interview with Francoise Girard,
senior program officer of the International Women's Health Coalition,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Since reinstating the global gag rule against abortion on his first day in office, President George W. Bush has been consistent in his administration's attack on women's reproductive rights, both at home and abroad. Critics characterize White House funding cuts, judicial appointments and opposition to previously agreed-to international conventions as "Bush's other war."

The latest example of this conflict could clearly be seen in U.S. policies at a meeting in Bangkok to work out details of the 10th year action plan on Population and Development, the blueprint for the next ten years for reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific. There the U.S. delegation announced its refusal to reaffirm the ground-breaking 1994 Cairo Program of Action, which the U.S. -- under the Clinton Administration -- was instrumental in writing and which promoted women's education, economic development, and reproductive rights.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Francoise Girard, senior program officer for Policy at the International Women's Health Coalition, based in New York City. She discusses the Bush administration's assault on women's reproductive rights and what groups and individuals can do to challenge these policies.

Call the International Women's Health Coalition at (212) 979-8500 or visit their Web site at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • While U.S. & European companies sold raw materials to Iraq that could be converted into chemical weapons during the early 1980s, Saddam put 5,000 mostly Kurdish young men and women into detention camps where he may have used them as experimental subjects. ("Did Saddam's Army test poison gas on missing 5,000?" The Independent, Dec. 13, 2002)
  • Activists fought back biotech company Autogen's attempt to conduct genetic research on the people of Tonga. ("The Gene Hunters," New Internationalist, September, 2002)
  • Wind farms sprouting up in Texas and other states. ("Winds of Change," Public Citizen News, November/December, 2002.)

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 12/27/02

War With Iraq

"U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup: Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds" By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2002, Page A01

U.S. Facing Bigger Bill For Iraq War Total Cost Could Run As High as $200 Billion, by Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2002, Page A01

IMF/World Bank and Anti-Iraq War Protest Interviews, Teach-Ins Sept. 27-29,2002 Interviews with Mary Bull, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader in D.C. (in MP3 format)

"Stopping Water Privatizers at Home and Abroad," Part 1 Featuring Clemente Martinez and Rudolf Amenga-Etego on campaigns in Nicaragua and Ghana. In RealAudio.

Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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